While the City of Toronto (Social Atlas Map) reports that over 80 African languages are spoken in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), additional information about the vitality of these languages in Toronto is not available. For instance, information is lacking about the domains of use of these languages, the level of proficiency among second-generation speakers, community members’ attitudes toward their languages, and intergenerational language transmission (UNESCO 2003:7). This presentation discusses the ongoing efforts to fill this gap for three languages spoken in Toronto (Lingala, Kirundi, and Tshiluba). I will present the sociolinguistics survey that will be shared with speakers of each of these languages who live in Toronto in the Greater Toronto Area. I will discuss how this kind of project could potentially be informative to local governments.
Presented by: Suzi Lima, Assistant Professor, Linguistics, University of Toronto